From The Editor: A Second Life Summer | 8 – 9 Photography by Yannick568 Sands | 10 – 11 & 72 – 73 The Best of Both Worlds: The Works of Paula Rego & Medy Spore | 12 – 15 Fabulous Soul Pub: All Places Should Be Like This | 16 – 21 Beach Bleached... | 22 – 29 Beach Life: Where The Hotties Go This Hot Summer | 30 – 33 Summer Heat in Second Life | 34 – 37 Ask Auntie Em | 40 – 41 Profile of an Artist: Breleroux Silvercloud | 42 – 43 Click/Sit | 44 – 51 The Transgender Community in Second Life | 52 – 55 Summer of Love: LGBT Summer Fest 2011 | 56 – 59 Photography by Medy Spore | 60 – 61 & 68 – 69 Gay in Second Life | 62 – 63 The Story of James Part 2 | 64 – 66 The Tom Letters | 70 – 71 The Last Page | 82 – 83
Cover Artist: Jess Pootawn Cover Model: Liir Macarthur
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SECOND LIFE’S BEST GAY MAGAZINE IN-WORLD AND ONLINE
Editor-in-Chief & Publisher: MatthewXxX Gustav Assistant Editor: Nicolson Graphic Designers: Medy Spore, Pitsch Parx, Winona Wiefel Layout Designer: Winona Wiefel Photographers, Writers, Journalists, Reporters: Medy Spore, Yannick568 Sands, Jess Pootawn, Pitsch Parx, Liir Macarthur, Nicolson, Selina Tigerfish
From the Editor A Second Life Summer
Summer. You hear this word, and what comes to mind? Vacations, sun, sand, time with friends, barbeques, shedding layers of clothing – and maybe even some inhibitions. The summer edition of Gay House takes you around the grid on a virtual summer vacation. We’ll see some sensual art, visit a few hot beach hangouts, and learn about SL’s summer national festivals as well as our own LGBT SummerFest. For your beach reading, we have reflections on living an LGBT Second Life, the erotic Tom Letters, and new this issue: Auntie Em’s words of advice to the SL lovelorn. So strap on your sandals and strip down to your Speedos and join us for a Second Life summer. MatthewXxX Gustav
The Best of Both
The Works of Paula
By Liir Macarthur I visited the Art Museum located at Parallel Universe Centre Pompidou H67 City where Fran Ghoststar and Joaopedro Oh are hosting an exhibition showcasing the works of Real Life artist Paula Rego and Second Life artist Medy Spore. Paula Rego was a British painter and printmaker born in Portugal. Rego started painting at the age of four. She first won recognition in Portugal with semi-abstract paintings that sometimes included collage elements taken from her drawings. Their wit and verve, sometimes used on violent or political subjects, showed gifts for storytelling that came from a childhood filled with folk-tales told by a great-aunt. Her work often gives a sinister cast to storybook imagery, emphasizing cruel domination or subversion of natural order. She deals with socio-political realities, an example being her important Triptych (1998) on abortion. Rego’s style is often compared to cartoon illustration. As with cartoons, animals are frequently shown in human roles and situations. Her later work grew more realistic, but sometimes maintains animal references — the Dog Woman series of the 1990s, for example, is a set of pastel pictures depicting women in a variety of dog-like poses (on all fours, baying at the moon, etc.). Clothes play an important role in Rego’s work as pieces of her visual storytelling. Many of the clothes worn by models and mannequins in her work are like the frocks she wore as a child in Portugal. Rego’s thoughts on how the clothes show character are as follows: “clothes enclose the body and tighten it and give you a feeling of wholeness. You are contained inside your clothes. So I put them in the pictures.” Rego only ever painted one self-portrait, which included her grand daughter, Grace Smart. This portrait sold for some £300,000.
Rego & Medy Spore
Rego was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours. Rego and her husband, Willing, moved to England permanently in 1976. Rego is the mother of Nick Willing, a film director who directed commercials and music videos for such artists as The Eurythmics, Bob Geldof, and Swing Out Sister. His credits on feature films as either writer or director (or both) include: Photographing Faires (1997), Doctor Sleep (2002), and Alice (2009 - TV). Medy Spore, the Second Life Artist being showcased at the museum, is a colleague of mine whose work has been featured in Gay House Magazine since the very first issue. Medy has been a Second Life resident for four years, but he only began taking photos this year. When asked what inspires him, Medy said, â€œConceptual art. It is what moves me the most. With these photos I speak simply and without artifice, but behind the pretty and cosmetic pictures there is a hidden meaning. I let the people discover them. Like the portrait of the boy who bleeds blue from the mouth. Talk about conceptual art can seem pretentious, but what I think we need to do is disinherit the ideas most people have about contemporary art, because it is too far. For me, beyond the term given to any particular type of art (contemporary, conceptual, hyper-realistic, etc.), what counts above all this is emotion. It is emotions that make you want to know more and love life. It is Art that keeps me alive.â€?
Medy is artistic in both Real Life and Second Life. I asked Medy if he had a favorite portrait and he said “I love them all because the models are my friends.” When asked about the motivation behind his work, Medy Spore said, “I am not a portraitist. I am selfish. The desire to photograph you is not a generous act. I robbed you to create my beauty. My images are a mix of RL and SL photo.” For the photo shoot, AO’s in accordance with RL images were created for the models, producing association by image of two parallel universes. The photos chosen by Medy to be included in the show include: Sissy, Zeb1, Zeb2, Izu1, Izu2, Pierre, Marcc1, Medz, Ultimate Blurred, Luke, Aza’s heart, Writer, Gourry, Alex1, James1, James2, Kolia, Geni, Dorian2, Medy2. My personal favorites were the Alex and James photos (though admittedly I am biased). I could say so much more about Medy and his works of art, but because I know Medy is a somewhat shy individual, I promised to keep it brief. So I will close with this. While I have always considered myself an art lover, I never paid much attention to conceptual art, for some of the reasons Medy stated above. I didn’t understand it and it seemed pretentious, but Medy’s work and knowing Medy himself has opened my eyes and my mind to some of the beautiful things you will see and feel by looking at what on the surface seems to be a simple photograph. When you look closer, you see that there is more then meets the eye. Maybe you will see a little piece of yourself, and the works of Paula Rego, who I was not familiar with previously, were equally amazing. I hope you made it to the exhibit as it was something not to be missed.
Fabulous Soul Pub: All places should By Liir Macarthur
When I arrived at the Fabulous Soul Pub I was greeted heartily by owners Jamy and Maxie Neikerk, two of the sweetest and most playful guys you will ever meet. They describe themselves as partners in love and business. Maxie informed me that even when one or both are not in SL they “bother” each other in MSN all day. If something is going on they both know about it. They refer to themselves as the “two most crazy guys in SL.” To them, SL is all about fun, enjoyment, and relaxation, and they are proud to be a part of that. I spoke to Jamy and Maxie about their club and what it has to offer SL residents. According to Jamy, the Fabulous Soul Pub began as a dream in February of this year. “Maxie and I were searching for something we couldn’t find,” Jamy said. Maxie continued, “We were tired of going to clubs that only spammed gestures.” Jamy added, “We couldn’t find a place where you can really make friends, or a place where you could meet up with your friends, have a drink and a good talk.” It was then that Maxie got the idea for a club: “Why don’t we start one ourselves? I
be like this knew it was an old dream of Jamy’s, to own his own place, and since Jamy is a DJ, why not create what we had been searching for?” Maxie described how the club grew: “By the end of February we had it all up. Originally we held Crazy Saturday, with Jamy as the DJ, with good tunes and nice friends, but it grew bigger and faster then we expected. So we began holding parties on Tuesdays and Thursdays. People started to come here. They enjoyed the way we ran the parties -- we talk, we dance, have drinks and enjoy each other’s company. People began coming around on days like today, before the events, and spending the whole day enjoying some time here.” The staff consists of the owners, Jamy and Maxie, as well as the host, DivaEddy Slade. They also employ two bartenders who work on Saturdays and a myriad of DJs. When asked how they operate on such a small staff, a feat that most businesses couldn’t pull off, Jamy replied, “We don’t need more, in fact, they’re a loyal group of people.”
The Pub’s main areas consist of a dance area and a bar with plenty of bar stools and couches for guests to sit and chill. A Fabulous Soul event board and their friend’s event board display the coming events. Both were clear, colorful and easily read even from a distance. Included in the club is the beach with its beautiful sunset view. You can dance the night away or relax with your feet in the surf in chairs placed right at the edge of the water. Maxie and Jamy and their patrons love the parties on the beach because they provide a nice change of atmosphere. The club also tries to cover all genres of music. Tuesdays they have a party on the beach with different Djs – all of them really good. Thursdays they have DJ Magic Markie spinning. Starting this week, twice a month on Tuesdays will be biker night with a great rock DJ playing rock tunes. On the last Saturday of the month, a live singer performs. Jamie described the
atmosphere and ambience at the club: “We’re not just the same old dance club. All that we do comes from our heart. There’s nothing commercial about us. This is what our friends and guests love, what makes them feel welcome. The difference is we talk directly to our guests. People like places where they can have a drink and just enjoy having fun. We also play games and trivia with our guests. Our pub is all about friendliness. We want people to make good friends here. We want all our guests to feel into the party. We don’t want anyone to stand silently in a corner. Maxie and I feel that is our goal.” Unlike some SL clubs, you won’t find any nudity in Fabulous Soul, since there is a no-nudity policy. “We do a bit of a tease with it. The teasing is often much more fun,” Jamy said. Maxie agreed, “That Jamy is a very teasing DJ. Our parties are very playful and relaxed. People come to have a great time and they love it. Second Life is for fun and a good time. There is enough drama in real life, so it is one of our goals to have a drama-free place.” Most of the Pub’s patrons are gay. However, it does draw a mixed crowd. The Pub is open to anyone who wants to have a good time whether they are gay, straight, human, vampire, lycan or whatever else (although biting is not permitted).
The couple will let nothing deter them from being the ultimate hosts. One night when their entire sim crashed, these club owners recreated and hosted the entire event at their home. That’s what I call going above and beyond! Maxie and Jamy told me about their themed events, including the one planned for later that day - “The Worst Newbie Look” - in which they were encouraging their patrons to dig through their inventory to find and wear their original Second Life look. I was unable to attend the party, but I laugh when I imagine a pub filled with avi’s wearing newbie skins, shapes, clothes, and hair. I can only assume its RL equivalent would be like a look through an old photo album or yearbook. Who among us hasn’t laughed or cried when seeing the fashions and looks we once wore?
Every Saturday they have a theme night. The Saturday theme parties start at 2 pm SLT. Past themes have included Latin, Angels, Demoyeah ns and others. Areas of the pub are stylized to fit the theme. According to Jamy, “Maxie is a great builder of decorations.” They only hold a theme party once a week, as they find nightly themes a bit tiring. When considering a theme they choose one accessible to as many as possible so that guests can choose from items they would likely already have in their inventories. There is a facebook page, “Fabulous Soul Niekerk,” where the owners and patrons of the events post pics of the parties and events. They are quite proud of the goals they have reached in such a short time. For example, the information group has grown from 0 to 100+ members and is still growing. Jamy and Maxie hope to provide a good time whether the party has 5 or 50 guests; to them quality is more than important than quantity. As they say, “We can’t be here 24 hours a day so we let people know they are free to meet their friends here and use the facilities.” Here people look at people as humans, avatars with feelings, and they respect that. They inform me that they haven’t had any sort of disrespect or drama at Fabulous Soul and will fight to ensure that doesn’t happen. They have a plan in place should any problems occur. The involved parties will be taken to Maxie’s “argue ball” where they can stand and slam each other till they are done then, they will be welcomed back. The owners sum up the club’s welcoming spirit: “It may sound silly to some but we want to give people a feeling that they are not just a number, that they have a shoulder to lay their head on when needed. We do nothing on automatic pilot. All that we do is with heart and feeling, and I think people feel that. We feel happy and proud when people contact us and thank us for being here and thank us for a great party and a great place. We also don’t compete with other clubs. We have a board displaying our friends’ clubs, and people can teleport from here to there. There is nothing to compete about, as they have theirs and we have ours. They send notices for our pub and we send notices for theirs, because our parties are never at the same time as theirs.” I witnessed first hand that these were not just pretty words. In mid-interview there was a discussion about a friend of theirs who had just lost a member of their SL family and whether Jamy, Maxie or both should go to lend support. Being with them in the club, I found my spirits lifted after some unpleasantness earlier in my day. The good feeling there comes not just from the atmosphere, but also from the owners themselves and their host, DivaEddy Slade. I enjoyed my time at the Fabulous Soul Pub and enjoyed meeting the owners as well. Their unique outlook on running a pub makes Fabulous Soul a breath of fresh air. Stop by say hello to Jamy, Maxie and DivaEddy. Dance a bit or sit and have a Bubweiser with Maxie. It’s a great place and I consider myself lucky that I had the chance to see it for myself.
Beach Life Where The Hotties Go This Hot Summer By Selina Tigerfish and MatthewXxX Gustav
When the word “summer” is mentioned, you imagine vacations, sun, shores, and the seaside. SL can give you all these without even taking a holiday – at nicely built and designed beaches with fantastic views! You might wonder, “I am gay, lesbian, or transgender; I want to enjoy summer and have fun… where can I do that?” SL gives you the answer by providing a beach for everyone, no matter who you are: gay or lesbian, straight or transgender, shemale or transvestite.
Fun at the Beach If you do a search for beaches you will find many of them. Arriving at one, you will see the fun you can have. GJ Carnell says about his favorite beach that it is “70% cruising, 30% fun chat.” He adds that “most of the people here are regulars.” According to GJ, it has been a popular place for maybe 2 years. “I think we are always looking for a place where you can expect others. No use going to a beach where nobody goes. Lots of guys know each other. Guys kinda use it as their home.” GJ Carnell has a positive opinion about beach life. However, Kirt Gloom had a different experience: “I came here looking for a cock to suck, but it’s kinda slow.”
Beach Communities For some, beach life is just a seasonal living style related to summer and hot weather, but Jacob Rae takes a deeper view; as he says about his beach hangout, “This is a community. We have parties, we play games, we watch movies, we hang out.” He adds that “we offer 1L$ housing that comes with 50 prims for new people to SL. We offer free skin and shapes, which our members personally made to help the new people. It’s a community-based beach where everyone is welcome.” Jacob Rae describes the diversity at the beach: “It is a voice sim, it’s fun, we always doing something different. It’s like a family, there is a wide selection of people from all over the world. We do not allow kid/teen avatars. Everyone is welcome: females, furries, tinies, neko, straight, bi-sex, gay, lesbian.” What might give you pause is his comment that “I’ve been in a sim where as soon as I entered I was kicked because of my male avatar.” He thinks such behavior isn’t right even if it occurs on a role-playing sim. Might there be discrimination in SL? With further investigation you will learn that some beaches do cater to specific nationalities. Liamone Troglodite says, “this sim is non-commercial, and it is for gay French speakers and their friends… no matter gay or not! Activities include games, conviviality, and sex of course.”
Clubs on the Beach You will also notice that most beaches feature open-air clubs and shops, since shopping during the summer is one of everyone’s most enjoyable activities. But what makes the open-air clubs at the beach different than other nightclubs you may find in SL? “We have a party inspired by the Arabian Nights. It’s an Arabic party,’ answers Isikoki Aeon. Why an Arabic party? Isikoki replies, “Each week we choose a different theme for the party. People like the parties we do in the club, although we also have a beach for relaxation, cruising areas, and beautiful spots scattered across the island.’
Second Life’s a Beach So if this summer in you’re stuck at home or the office and can’t take a RL vacation, don’t let that stop you. Check out one of SL’s many exciting beach communities. You’ll find sun, sand, surf, hot bodies, cool tunes, and fun people. And it’s all just a teleport away.
Summer Heat in Second Life By Liir MacArthur The summer season is fast approaching - the perfect time to teleport to exotic locales and show off the beautiful shapes of our sexy avatars. This summer, why not take a vacation in Second Life getting a taste of cultures from around the world? So with that in mind, put on your sexiest Second Life attire (or strip down to as little as possible) and take a trip around the SL world. Here are just a few of the places you can visit. During late June in Scandinavia, the Midsummer Day is celebrated. The sun continues to shine long after midnight, and to celebrate, Swedish villagers decorate a spruce trunk - called a najstang - like a maypole, and they dance around it. If you have never seen a maypole, let me tell you that it is phallic in origin, so it is not outside the realm of possibility that celebrating this day could lead to a more private celebration. In Norway, Midsummer Day is celebrated by lighting bonfires along the fjords. A nice bonfire is guaranteed to heat things up as well. Iceland hosts the Festival of the sea during the first weekend in June. Throughout the country this maritime celebration honors fishermen and all those who make their living from the sea. The day is celebrated with parades, arts and crafts activities, cultural events and activities for kids, food fairs, and sailing competitions. It is a great opportunity to see this culture. Icelandic National day is observed June 17th throughout the country. Iceland takes on a Mardi Gras-like atmosphere with parades and street fairs as Icelanders celebrate their 1944 independence from Denmark. Then, summer solstice is June 21st. Throughout the country “Sunset in Iceland” gatherings celebrate the magic of the midnight sun on the longest day of the year. One or all of these events is sure to get your energies flowing. In Japan a celebration is held called Bon (pronounced like “bone”). During Bon Japanese people keep the memory of their ancestors alive with a festival. People put lit candles in lanterns and float them on rivers and seas. They also visit and clean the graves of those who have died. In the ancient city of Kyoto, people light giant bonfires. July is known as the Wedding Season, and there is also Star Festival, also known as the Tanabata Festival. Tanabata is a Japanese tradition wherein people write their wishes on tanzaku papers (colorful, small strips of papers) and hang them on bamboo branches. Honoring your ancestors or being surrounded by the romantic atmosphere of a wedding month and the Tanabata festival might make you feel closer to that special someone or inspire you to make some wishes come true.
In China a myriad of events are held in the summer: bullfighting, horse races, cockfighting, sheep fighting, archery shooting races, horsemanship performances, wrestling, singing contests, beauty contests, local-style dance contests, torch parades and bonfire parties. Tourists can watch performances of a four-stringed plucked instrument with a full-moon-shaped sound box and a reed-pipe wind instrument, and can try the local dasanxian dance. The Dragon Boat Festival falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, in commemoration of Qu Yuan, a great poet of ancient times. During the festival, people throughout the country hold dragon boat races, eat zongzi (a pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves), drink local wines, and hang up Artemisia argyi. The exotic East may bring out a sexier you! In the United States our biggest summer holiday is the Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day. This day is usually spent with our friends and family enjoying food and fireworks, but in the state of Wyoming an Arapaho Sun Dance is held. During this religious festival centering on the sun dance, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Shoshone, and members of other Plains Indians tribes dance around a pole topped by a buffaloâ€™s head. The buffalo is a symbol of plenty, and dancers wish for good fortune in the year ahead. Itâ€™s possible that witnessing this event might stir something primal in all of us.
Summer in France sees the French national holiday commemorating the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. Also known as Le Quatorze Juillet, this day marked the beginning of the French Revolution. They say Paris is the city of love, so spending a little time there might ignite your own revolution, a revolution of passion! Germany’s festivals include music and a multitude of other events. The most important musical festivals are the massive Ring and Rock im Park festival and the festival of classical music in Dresden. This month is also famous for its beer and wine festivals. August is popular for beer festivals, wine festivals and theatre festivals. In the regions of Mosel and Rhine, the wine festivals are the favorites for visitors. The cities of Stuttgart, Hamburg, Mainz, Frankfurt or Aachen are famous destinations for beer fans. One of the most important festivals in this month is the Berlin Beer Festival, like the Oktoberfest in different locations. In September the wine festivals are favorites for visitors. In the last days of September, the Oktoberfest begins in Munich; this is one of the most famous festivals of Germany. Many people arrive in the city just to try the delicious beers especially made for this occasion. Spain has an abundance of holidays to take part in. From June 20th to the 29th the Hogueras de San Juan takes place in Alicante, Valencia. The Hogueras de San Juan are a series of ancient rituals which were followed on this, the shortest night of the year, when light triumphs over darkness. These rituals have been studied in minute detail in the work of Baroja. In them, the essential features are the sun, fire and water. Around the feast of San Juan the streets are often decorated with branches and leaves, especially the balconies of young girls in love, who are serenaded; pines and poplars are planted; pilgrimages (‘romerias’) are undertaken; straw effigies are burnt; the herb thyme is blessed, and ‘sanjuanera’ songs are sung. The Fiesta de Verano (Summer) is held in August in the city of
Malaga, Andalucia. This event usually starts the second Friday of August with spectacular fireworks. Then, the feria takes place in the centre of Malaga during the afternoon. People wear traditional Spanish costumes and dance “sevillanas” and “malaguenas” in the street; eat fish, cheese, and ham, and they drink a delicious, sweet red wine. The SL world truly is your oyster - you can go anywhere and see anything. So do a little searching. See what landmarks you can find, what events they may have there, and make this summer a summer of exploration. Whatever you do with your summer, make it a hot one!
Ask Auntie Em Oh Auntie Em, So, the other day I met a guy at a club. We went back to his place and had sex. It was hot! We both said so. We added each other and said “see you around.” I’ve seen him log on. He doesn’t IM me. I IM’d him once and he took a long time to respond and said he was afk and I smiled but then he didn’t write back. Then, last night, we were at the same club and he was chatting in local so I know he wasn’t afk, but he ignored me. I was like, WTF? Why would he do this to me? Don’t know what to do, and I feel like an idiot and a loser. I don’t want to be a stalker… but the sex was so hot! -- Confused Auntie Em: First of all, my confused little chicken, you are not an idiot or a loser. You have just learned the hard way that in SL, as in RL, there are a lot of “love ‘em and leave ‘em” types. Or, as the kids say these days, “hit it and quit it.” Knowledge is power, and should this happen to you again, Auntie Em doubts it will hurt and confuse you so much. Why do so many men behave this way? People have been asking that question since they roamed the savannas. Perhaps it’s biological -- men need to spread their seed around to compete with other males and ensure genetic diversity. So a high libido, a body pumped full of testosterone, and a wandering eye could all be nature’s way of ensuring that happens. Or maybe its cultural conditioning – when a boy gets an eyeful of films and TV shows and an earful of music extolling male sexual prowess, is it any wonder that he ends up breaking hearts? Or it could be less about the sex itself than the seduction, the power rush, and thrill of the chase. Who knows why men “hit it and quit it.” But Auntie Em - a former Girl Scout - says “be prepared.” How? Well… if one chooses to have SLex with a guy after knowing him a short time, one might go into that knowing that there’s a strong possibility it could be, for him, just a bit of fun, a one-time thing. Such could be the case even if the sex were so hot your screen practically burst into flames. Auntie Em has a friend, Auntie Ruth, who despite her advanced age and withered frame, finds herself quite often astride a poseball. Some of her former sex-bed-mates have ended up becoming good friends (with benefits or not); some are mere acquaintances, and some she has never heard from again. C’est la vie. Did it sadden Auntie Ruth when a former lover ignored her? Yes. But she powdered her nose, hitched up her skirts, and went about enjoying her Second Life. Sure beats Kansas. The climate here is hard on Auntie Ruth’s delicate, aging complexion. So, “hit it and quit it”? To that, Auntie Ruth says, “users are losers.” And we don’t have time for losers. So in lieu of dropping a house on these wicked, wicked men, she simply eases on down the road.
This issue of Gay House sees the debut of a new advice column by our resident relationship guru, worrywort, and general busybody, Auntie Em. Send your questions/concerns about Second Life love, sex, and relationships to the Editor-in-Chief at matthewxxx.gustav (in world) or email GayHouseMagazine@gmail.com He will send them off to Kansas for you, and Em will sort out your problem in a future issue of Gay House.
Oh Auntie Em, why can’t I find a guy who wants more than sex? Seeking Partner Auntie Em: Seeking Partner, my sweet romantic soul, Auntie Em has often asked herself that very same question. But, as the saying goes… ours is not to question why; ours is but to do or die… trying to find Mr. Right. Auntie Em suggests that you not worry your pretty head pondering the frailty of men, but take action to find the man of your dreams. First, take a look at your profile. Does it suggest that you are looking for Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now? For example, you might want to hide your membership in the “Bottoms R Us” group and show that you belong to “SL Candlelight Dining.” Next, think about how you dress your avatar. Auntie Em finds that when she ventures forth fully clothed, one-line IMs asking for sex are rare. Join some groups and visit some sims that don’t revolve around dating and/or sex. You might meet someone with similar interests on which to build a friendship, then maybe something deeper. As in RL, friends can sometimes introduce you to potential partners, so let your friends know you are on the market. Above all, stay open-minded and avoid cynicism. No one wants to date a Negative Nelly!
Oh Auntie Em, Will an SL relationship affect my RL relationship? Wondering Auntie Em: Well, Wondering, it very well might… how and in what ways, now that is up to you and your RL partner. It could spice things up; it might have little-to-no effect; it could ruin everything. Play safe. On this question, Auntie Em confesses that her long, stable marriage to dear old Uncle Henry makes her not the best source of advice. So, dear readers, she asks: what has been your experience with this issue? Write to MatthewXxX Gustav and your thoughts could be published (anonymously if you wish) in a future edition of “Ask Auntie Em.” Until then, dear readers, see you over the rainbow.
Profile of an Artist:
By Nicolson Bre Leroux Silvercloud is a Second Life artist who has been in world for almost five years since first rezzing on October 17, 2006. He creates artwork outside of Second Life using Photoshop and a 3D Animation program called Poser. He then brings the finished products into SL for sale. He got started as an artist about 11 years ago when his RL partner at the time gave him the 3D program Bryce. When asked about his favorite artistic subjects, he replied, “The only way for me to answer that question would be by saying ‘men’ - sometimes they are smooth, sometimes hairy, always well built.” He takes inspiration from the work of several artists, including Ansel Adams and Boris Valejo. Of the photos he’s made, he says his two favorites are “Tribute” and “Prayer.” Besides making art, in SL he enjoys building, designing clothes, exploring new places and new ideas, shopping, and working as a host in number of different clubs. For those curious about the man behind the avatar, he has this to share about his RL: “I’m 43, Canadian, engaged to be married to a wonderful man I met here in SL.”
The Transgender in Second Life By Selina Tigerfish and MatthewXxX Gustav
Community Transgenders are everyday people living all around us. Your friend, sister, brother, daughter or son may be one of them, but “because they are different they are not easily accepted around.” So says Sexkitten Thorne, a dancer at the transgender club Touch of Pleasure. While exploring Second Life you will encounter the TG community. How do they manage being different? What problems do they face? How do they get the most out of their Second Life? Transgenders in SL Wyrdsught Resident, who is couple of days old in Second Life, says about the TG community: “Such a big umbrella is the transgender community.” DaveWisc Price, a member of a TG group, thinks that “Transgenders in Second Life are a bit like elves. Although an avatar might be TG, the person behind the avi isn’t necessarily TG in Real Life.” He adds that a lot “of Real Life transgenders are 100% females in Second Life and a lot of Real Life females or males who are not TG play as TG in Second life.” Why do some people like to be TG in Second Life? “Women’s clothes are much nicer, and some like the fantasy play aspect,” says DaveWisc Price. He continues, “The entertainment that a TG can have in Second Life is finding and spending time with the others like themselves and being accepted and enjoyed by non-transgenders.” What drama do they face? DaveWisc Price’s answer was direct and clear: “Mostly obviously from people who dislike or fear TGs without understanding or caring about their nature.” Help for transgenders If you go further with your exploration and learn more about this community, you will find out that there is a Transgender Resource Center, established on November 17, 2008. The Transgender Resource Center offers various kinds of help for the transgender community through note cards that include advice on facing the outside community and managing the reality of being transgender. This Resource Center also organizes regular meetings for transgender individuals, peer support groups, and online forums. According to statistics, today the Transgenders Resource Center has 1163 members. What is more, there is a museum where you can find historical information about transgenders. Additionally, there are plenty of shops and clubs for transgenders in SL. Most of the shops are full of high quality and well-designed women’s clothes.
Fun at “Home” Most visitors to the club Touch of Pleasure call it home. Why? According to Stacey7 Ansar, one of the four owners of TG club, “We run the staff like a family and all our members and guests love the friendly environment, which they can call home.” She emphasizes that “we are more than a club. Sometimes we just talk to a new person who is having problems in SL, helping them find things they need like shops and more.” What more does Touch of Pleasure have to offer? Another owner of the club, Beponka Nirvana, describes that “we have a private VIP room for parties. This area includes an inside party area with dancers as well as an outside pool area for larger parties.” Beponka continues, “This space is available for guests to enjoy the company of friends with dancers just for an evening of fun and relaxing, or for larger parties like birthdays and pre-wedding parties.” The intention behind “Touch of Pleasure” was “to create a club not only for transgenders but also for lesbians, shemales – for everyone -- where people can feel safe and at home,” according to Stacey7 Ansar. Beponka Nirvana adds that “It is not just club; we are a part of transgender community in SL.”
Unpleasant experience What obstacles do TGs face in Second life? How does drama affects them? Sexkitten Thorne says, “I remember one club manager, who asked us to leave a regular club, because we are transgenders, and he did it in local chat.” One transgender, Misha Anton, tells of witnessing verbal attacks: “I have been dancing for 21 months; maybe 5 times I have witnessed one of our guests verbally attacking us for being transgender.” She laments that “Sadly many people from my community have been abused for being gay or lesbian or transgender.”
The questions that still remain: When will TGs be left in peace? Why are they victims of prejudice? Perhaps with time and more openmindedness TGs will gain the peace and acceptance they deserve.
“Summer of Love”
LGBT SummerFest 2011 By Nicolson
In the early morning hours of June 28th, 1969, the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village was raided by the police. Such raids were common at this bar and other gay bars in the city. Yet this time, instead of piling into the paddy wagon, the bar patrons fought back. Several days of riots and demonstrations followed. These events are widely regarded as marking the beginning of the modern gay rights movement in the United States and inspiring LGBT people around the world. The next year, New York held its first gay pride parade commemorating the event, and since then, gay pride parades and festivals have become common in many cities around the world. Here in Second Life, we just had our own version of a summer gay pride event, the annual LGBT SummerFest. Held June 2126, this event featured an assortment of cultural and artistic events, fashion shows, a fireworks display, conferences, estates showrooms, a Market Fair with numerous vendors - and of course, parties with some of SL’s hottest DJs. And since this is SL where “anything goes,” there were several nude events. I visited the Market Fair where I saw booths featuring items catering to LGBT SL residents: skins and shapes, clothes, shoes, real estate, Pride flags, and sex rugs. While wandering around the stalls, I ran into Garth Raleigh, one of the festival’s organizers. He helpfully took time out from his duties to tell me more about SummerFest.
Nicolson: What is the purpose behind SummerFest? Garth Raleigh: To provide structured locations for multiple activities over the period of a week to celebrate Solstice and the beginning of summer. On a higher level, SummerFest is about bringing the LGBT community together at these activities and locations. It aims to promote friendships, contacts, and to ensure that accurate information about resources within the SL LGBT community is available to all.
Nicolson: How did the festival begin? Garth Raleigh: As with so many events, with an idea, dedicated volunteers, and a focused intent. We kicked off the 2011 “Summer of Love” SummerFest this year with a brief opening ceremony that included a ribbon-cutting and remarks from this year’s Festival Committee President, HunterTx Resident.
Nicolson: Who attends the events and how big is the turnout? Garth Raleigh: While most of the events scheduled are geared to the interests of the LGBT community in SL, all are welcome - and we’re always pleased to see many of our straight friends and SL residents attend. As with all events, sim limits apply, but we usually see around 40-60 per event, depending on the specific event and whether or not is static (such as an art exhibit or MarketFair) or a scheduled party.
Nicolson: What makes SummerFest unique among other summer events/ festivals? Garth Raleigh: There is a noticeable emphasis on LGBT community (and their interests) in all events planned. The Gay Archipelago takes great pride in ensuring that each event exhibits and promotes inclusiveness of varied lifestyles within SL. We feel that we provide a unique feel to our SummerFest – a “safe” and “accepting” atmosphere for all attendees.
Nicolson: What goals have the organizers set for Summerfest? Garth Raleigh: Looking to the future, the GA sees the SummerFest (and WinterFest) as vehicles for bringing people together in the LGBT community. Goals are simple really: to socialize, to make friends, to promote unity, and to have fun along the way! To my dismay, because of RL conflicts I was only able to attend one SummerFest event: the “Famous Five,” a dance featuring five of the most popular LGBT dancefloors in SL (The Arsenal, Club Xtasy, The Bullring, The Aqua Lounge and The Bunker). I arrived late in the party, but there was still a large crowd of (mostly) men from different countries, judging by the variety of languages in local chat. Partygoers were decked out in a variety of styles, from circuit boy, boy-next-door, jeans-and-flannel, and hardcore leather. The guys on the Bullring dancefloor, as one might expect, were naked by the end doing some… interesting… dance moves. And Garth Raleigh wasn’t kidding about the events being inclusive of different lifestyles and interests; I spotted a satyr, a wizard, a clown, and a dragon. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, and I was impressed that despite having a high turnout and five dance floors, lag was very low. Other events during SummerFest included the Summer Southern Rock Revival and tent meeting, several fashion shows, a lesbian night, and for the conclusion of the festivities, the “Nekkid Weekend” - an all-naked dance in a wheat field, the SL “Nekkid Pride” Parade held on the San Francisco Estate, and the Mr. Nude 2011 election. SummerFest showcases the talent, variety, and community spirit of SL’s LGBT residents. We are lucky that the folks at the Gay Archipelago have brought it to us.
Gay in Second Life By Liir MacArthur
Life is good in Second Life, of that you can be sure. Whether you are gay or straight, Second Life is a great thing. After all, did you ever wonder what it would be like just to think of a place, and within seconds you are there? Even travel back in time? Since coming to Second Life I have explored the Titanic, visited the Moulin Rouge, traveled to Africa, seen the shores of Ireland, and explored a fairy realm. I have seen crystal caverns and medieval castles, ridden butterflies and bats, and sailed the city of Venice in a gondola. Then there is the flying. If you have ever dreamed of being able to rise off the ground and soar through the air, then being able to do just that is a dream come true. In real life can you build your home and use security settings to make entering it impossible? Can you edit your world to your liking? Determine the placement of every rock and river and tree? Indulge me for a moment and think of your real life as a GLBT individual. Walking down the street or wherever you are, if you see someone attractive, can you at the click of a button look up a profile and see their likes, dislikes, groups or clans that they belong to, sexual status, and whether or not they are single? Then there are the clans and clubs. Real life may have community centers, GLBT support groups, and alternative bars, but are they open 24 hours a day? Are members of a support group an instant message, teleport, or in some cases an email away? Have you ever been to an alternative club where not only the performers get naked, but the patrons do too? And even if that were allowed, are all the patrons of that establishment going to be sexually attractive? Then if you do meet someone you want to get a little cozy with - or maybe just plain wild - there is no need to talk about past partners or protection. While it is not for some, Second Life pixel sex can be a killer rush. After all, your only real limit is the imagination of you and your partner. Moreover, should things get a little more serious and you grow to like or love another avatar, wanting to take the next step, do you have to travel to a locale where same-sex marriage is allowed, knowing that when you return home your union will not be recognized? No, you plan your wedding, have the day of your dreams (hopefully), and you are treated just the same as your heterosexual counterparts. In real life can you walk around and openly show or verbalize your attraction for a member of the same sex no matter where you are? In Second Life you donâ€™t have to worry about illness or disease, healthcare or being allowed at the bedside of your partner should he or she be ill, or the right to have his or prognosis discussed with you without being excluded because you do not fall under the legal definition of a real family. For some, Second Life is an extension of their daily life. For others, it is an escape from the stresses of it, providing freedom from the limits imposed on them by reality and the stigmas of todayâ€™s society. Second Life gives sovereignty to members of the GLBT community. So the next time you log into Second Life, as it loads, take a moment to think how blessed you are to have Second Life as a place to escape, a place to be yourself - and to look really sexy while doing it. So laugh and be merry, revel in your lack of restrictions. This is your Second Life - enjoy it. Modern technology has awarded you with an independence you will not find anywhere else to such a great degree: freedom to be whoever you want to be, liberated to live as you see fit, open to be whoever you want, free to do as you please. So savor your freedom. Free will is something to be treasured. To do otherwise is to take it for granted.
The Story of By Liir Macarthur Part Two James paced nervously in his room trying to decide when to put his plan into action. He thought of his parents. He wondered if when they knew the truth, would they still love him?
Alex looked cautiously at the first page. He had hoped the book would contain an address or a phone number. There was nothing but an entry from about two years earlier. Curiously he began to read. It started out slow enough with the typical introductory information, then at the very bottom of the page, the very last sentence: “I think I am gay.” Alex tossed the book away. It landed on the bed forcefully and then bounced to the floor. He regretted picking it up, and at the same time he imagined what his classmates would do with this news. They’d tear James into shreds and laugh as they did it. He felt guilty for reacting so violently, since he always considered himself a tolerant person. He lifted the book up and turned to the next page. James decided the best time to act was after dinner. He approached the desk in his room and looked for his journal. He searched his book bag and then all over the room, growing more frantic. He rushed out of his room, down the hall, and out the door. James arrived outside the school just in the nick of time. He headed straight for his classroom, the janitor not far behind to unlock the door. He stepped inside and was crestfallen, then horrified. The journal wasn’t there. What if someone had the book? He recoiled at the thought of it in the hands of another. He had put everything between those pages -- his hopes, his dreams, his fears. His heart raced as he whispered, “It’s not there.” Before the janitor could react, James was out the door. He didn’t hear the janitor’s last words to him: “Were you looking for a leather-bound book? I just remembered that boy Alex has it. He was looking for you.” The only reply was the slamming door echoing in the empty halls.
to be continued…
Dear Tom, When we met the other day I told you I had a boyfriend and that I intended to be faithful. But then the next time I saw you, you were so sexy I couldn’t resist. When we made love the way you licked and caressed every inch of my body left me with quivering with desire. No one has ever pleasured me the way you did. I can’t wait to see you again. What my boyfriend doesn’t know won’t hurt him. Jeff
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